9 Differences between Georgian and Polish culture

Do you enjoy exploring different cultures? Well, lot of people do. Living for a while in a different country makes you think about differences between your homeland and the country you currently live in. Last 2 months I live in Poland,  and for this time I discovered some differences between Georgiand and Polish – those two beautiful cultures.

  1. Saying hello 

You say Gamarjoba/Gaumarjos and kiss on a cheek, but it depends on how well you know this person. But actually you  can just say “Gamarjoba”. Gamarjoba is translated as “victory” and reflects our country’s complicated past of endless attacks. 

You can say Cześć/hej and then hug or kiss on the chick (sometimes they kiss 3 times: left right left). More formal is to shake hands with someone and say Dzień dobry. Older people, especially men, are taking their hats off their heads while saying Dzień dobry. 

2.Christmas and new year 

As Georgia is an Orthodox country, it follows the Julian calendar. Therefore, the nation celebrates a New Year holiday twice in a year, on January 1, as the rest of the world, and on January 13. According to the calendar, the New Year falls on the latter date, which locals call the “Old New Year.” 

The most important New Year celebration comes on December 31, when families sit around the table very late in the evening and have a proper meal. Everyone starts congratulating each other at midnight, the time when it’s considered to be the “official” New Year.Consequently, Christmas here is also celebrated on January 7th with a special meal called Guruli Gvezeli, or Guruli pie, a type of Khachapuri with boiled eggs inside. 

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A fun tradition that has been popular for centuries is the kulig (sleigh rides). Many people in Poland celebrate New Year’s Day with dances, concerts, and meals featuring traditional Polish dishes including bigos (hunter’s stew). 

Fireworks are lit and seen in the skies above many cities in Poland around midnight between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. … Other popular activities include sleigh rides, bonfires, dances, balls, parties and other forms of entertainment to celebrate the welcoming of the New Year.

3.New year symbols 

Georgians put their own Christmas tree called chichilaki alongside the green one. Made from a dried hazelnut tree, the tradition of chichilaki comes from the western part of the country. Instead of sparkly ornaments, the chichilaki is decorated with an assortment of dried fruits and flowers. The tree branches are shaved until it produces curly strings that look like a small coniferous tree. 

Poles had various greetings for each other on New Year’s. One of the more interesting ones was, “Życzę ci Dosiego roku,” or “Wishing you a Dosia year.” 

Supposedly, centuries ago (1600s-1700s), there lived a woman in Krakow named Dosia (Dorothy). Dosia was known throughout the city as a hardworking, loving and caring individual who always put others first. 

It is said that because of her goodness, God granted her extremely long life. She lived to be more than a hundred years old, unheard of in that day. Thus, to wish someone a “Dosia year” meant to wish someone a happy, healthy year. 

  1. Alcohol 

Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. The fertile valleys and protective slopes of the Transcaucasia were home to grapevine cultivation and neolithic wine production for at least 8000 years. 

In the countryside, where most families still grow their own grapes and make their own wines, homes typically have a dedicated wine cellar, called a marani. Even in Georgia’s cities, urbanites who balance progress with tradition cultivate their own wines. 

The opening of a family qvevri—a buried clay vessel in which most Georgian households make their wine—is a celebrated event, a reason for feasting. Wine features in every meal, whether simple or elaborate. 

Poland’s love of beer has surpassed the nation’s love of vodka. Marketing researchers claim that the average Polish citizen consumes from 92 to 99 liters of beer each year. Smaller, regional breweries have popped up across the country in recent years and is a testament that the frothy brew will remain a favorite. In fact, Poland is now Europe’s third-largest producer of beer after Germany and the UK. The most common brands are Perla and Ciechan Miodowe. Perla is 6 percent alcohol and tastes sweet and hoppy. Ciechan Miodowe is 5.7 percent alcohol and is honey-flavored. 

  1. Sweets 

Churchkhela is a traditional Georgian cuisine candle-shaped candy. The main ingredients are grape must, nuts, and flour. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and chocolate and sometimes raisins are threaded onto a string, dipped in thickened grape juice or fruit juices and dried in the shape of a sausage. Churchkhela is a homemade Georgian product. Georgians usually make Churchkhela in Autumn when the primary ingredients, grapes and nuts, are harvested. 

Most every country has its own signature candy, and Poland is no exception. Krówki, or “little cows” are made from the country’s version of chocolate fudge with added milk, sugar, and butter. The candies are soft and chewy on the inside with a harder outside shell. Krówkis are made from fresh, wholesome ingredients with no added preservatives or artificial flavors. They’re available all over Poland and sold under several different labels. The one you are most likely to see is called L. Pomorski Syn and comes from Milanówek. 

  1. Sports 

Lelo or lelo burti (Georgian: ლელო ბურთი), literally a “field ball”, is a Georgian folk sport, which is a full contact ball game, and very similar to rugby. Rugby union in Georgia is considered one of the most popular team sports.  

In Poland Football is the most popular sport, followed by cycling and then chess!  Riding and horse breeding are among the favorite pastimes of the wealthier classes. 
 

  1. Architecture 

Poland has lot of castles, almost in every city there is at least one castle. Architectural style of poles is seen in catholic churches too – there are lot of unique monuments and  it is very unique for foreigners.  

In Georgia we have lot of Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art-nouveau buildings and lot of  fortresses. Our architecture reflects mix of west and east cultures which makes it remarkable.  

  1. Alphabet 

Georgian alphabet is one of the oldest in the world and it is among the world’s 14 alphabets. On November 30, 2016, UNESCO added Georgian alphabet to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. According to Georgian chronicler Leonti Mroveli, king Pharnavaz created Georgian script in the 4th century BC. During its existence, the alphabet has undergone three major changes: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli. Each of them has its own graphical style. Asomtavruli is the oldest alphabet. Its manuscripts date back to the 1st century BC. 
The samples of the Nuskhuri script are found from the 9th century. 
Mkhedruli is a modern Georgian alphabet, and we have the examples from the 11th century. The alphabet has 33 letters and does not have capital letters. 

The Polish alphabet is the script of the Polish language, the basis for the Polish system of orthography. It is based on the Latin alphabet but includes certain letters with diacritics. The letters qv and x, which are used only in foreign words, are usually not considered part of the Polish alphabet. However, prior to the standardization of the Polish language, the letter “x” was sometimes used in place of ‘KS’.There are 32 letters in the Polish alphabet: 9 vowels and 23 consonants.

  1. Religion 

Majority of Georgians are orthodox, According to a statistics, 83.4% of the Georgian population identified themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christian, 10.7% Muslim, 3.9% Armenian Apostolic, and 0.5% Catholic. Orthodox churches serving other non-Georgian ethnic groups, such as Russians and Greeks, are subordinate to the Georgian Orthodox Church. Non-Georgian Orthodox Churches generally use the language of their communicants. 

The Roman Catholic Church is the biggest church in Poland. The overwhelming majority (around 87%) of the population are Roman-Catholic if the number of the baptised is taken as the criterion (33 million of baptised people in 2013). The Catholic Church also includes the Uniate Church (Greek-Catholic) with the congregation of approximately 55,000. 

Your faithfully, Ana 🙂

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